'Moment of madness' killing of Sandy grandfather over disabled parking bay in Biggleswade Asda car park to feature in Channel 4 documentary One Killer Punch tonight
PUBLISHED: 10:25 22 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 26 November 2016
A ‘moment of madness’ in Biggleswade where a grandfather from Sandy was killed in a row over a disabled parking space is to be featured in a Channel 4 TV documentary broadcast tonight.
The case of Brian Holmes – who died aged 64 in August 2013 after being assaulted by 65-year-old Alan Watts in the Biggleswade Asda car park – is one of three cases examined in One Killer Punch, which looks at those killed or seriously hurt by punches.
Watts, of Lindsell Crescent in Biggleswade, claimed to have acted in self-defence but was found guilty of manslaughter in December 2013 and sentenced to five years behind bars.
Det Supt Liz Mead, who was the senior investigating officer in the case, said today: “This was an utterly tragic and completely preventable incident.
“It was a big decision for Brian’s family to choose to take part in the documentary but they wanted Brian’s voice to be heard – and importantly they wanted to show others how just one moment of madness can ruin so many lives.
“No incident is worth losing your liberty over and what is especially tragic about this case is it was over someone’s belief about rights to parking.
“I hope everyone who sees the documentary will see how important it is to take a step back, stop and think, rather than resorting to potentially deadly violence.”
Brian – who days before his death had received the all-clear after extensive cancer treatment – cared for his wife Christine and never held a driving licence.
They went to the Church Lane superstore in her car on August 3, 2013, and parked in the disabled-only bays with her blue badge disability parking permit clearly visible.
While she was in the store, Brian went back to put something in the car’s boot – and was spotted by Watts, who had arrived with his wife in their Range Rover.
Watts did not have a blue badge and was thus ineligible to park in the space, but shouted abuse at Brian for not appearing to need the disabled spot.
After an exchange of words, Watts punched Brian in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground. He died the next day from a severe head injury.
Watts admitted punching Brian once but claimed to have acted in self-defence – a claim the jury rejected after seeing CCTV footage in which Brian could be seen walking away before Watts punched him in the head twice.
The documentary airs on Channel 4 tonight, Tuesday, at 10pm, and will also be available on demand.